The main challenge in creating containers for the garden is at the planning stage. There are many ways in which you can obtain information on container gardening, such as the Internet, local library, or local bookstore. These resources can give you valuable information from beginning this type of gardening, to seeing it to fruition.
Size of Container
There is a wide range of container sizes available to begin your container garden. The containers range in size from small to very large. Smaller containers are great for house plants, while the larger size containers, often referred to as boxes or planters are great for multple or large scale planting.
Common Materials Used to Make Containers
Containers and Planters are made of a variety of materials, such as wood, bamboo, straw, glass, clay, aluminum, tin, cast iron, brass, fiberglass, plastic, zinc, copper and terracotta. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages in container gardening. The type that you choose will greatly be dependent upon your personal preference, how much you are willing to spend and the overall appeal of the container’s design.
Gardening containers also come in different shapes from standard styling to more modern designs. The more common shapes are round, rectangular, square, triangular, octagonal, and hexagonal. In addition, you can even choose to use what you already have, like old vases, barrels, kitchen pots, pails, jugs, sinks, bathtubs, fish tanks, casks, woven baskets, and kettles. These containers are very original and can add lots of variety and individualism to your garden. Some people have also been known to turn driftwood, wheelbarrows, and donkey carts into beautiful displays of plants. You can even purchase inexpensive tar paper pots from your local garden center and paint it to add your creativity in your garden. There is a lot of variety in your choices of container designs to fit any personality and any environment.
Where to Find Containers
You don’t have to look far for different containers that can simply be found by looking around your house or yard. Of course, this is the most cost-effective way of finding a container, and could turn out to be one of the most creative. Take a look around your garage, cellar, attics and garden sheds. You may be surprised at what you may find. Maybe some old fashioned pots, antique kettles, old cookie jars, pickle jars or ceramic bowls can be found and turned into a unique potting container.
Container Know How
Once you have chosen your special container for your plants, you need to ensure that the container will have proper drainage. A thick layer of pebbles or broken pot pieces or brick pieces should be placed on the bottom of the container. The larger your container, the thicker your drainage material should be, especially if it will be outdoors and you live in an area with heavy rainfall. Those containers with no hole on the bottom for drainage should be kept under cover, such as on porches, patios or under awnings otherwise, depending on the type of container you have chosen, drainage holes will need to be pierced or drilled in the bottom of the container.
If you are unable to puncture a hole in your container and it does not have one previously designed on it, there is no need to worry. Many plants do well in containers with no drainage, as long as it is not over-watered. Plants can thrive in these containers because the soil will hold water for a longer period of time, as compared to those with drainage holes. But you must be extra careful that you do not over-water.
What Makes the Perfect Container?
The only perfect container is one that is appealing to you. It should match your décor and garden yard style as well as your personality. Containers can further be decorated or painted to add more of uniqueness and originality to the design.
The type of container you choose will also depend on what you will be planting.
Herbs are always a popular choice. Some beautiful herb gardens include a selection of sweet basil, Italian parsley, oregano, marjoram, and thyme. If you want a nice scented herbal garden container, you can consider planting lavender, rose scented geranium, lemon balm, lemon thyme, and pineapple sage. You can also grow herbs that you can use in your salads, like garlic chives, celery and salad burnet.
It is important that the container you choose is sturdy enough to support the types of plants that you want to place in it. It should also be very durable, especially if it will be placed outside to compliment your garden.
If you intend to move your containers, you may want to consider one that is not too heavy. Portable containers allow you the flexibility of rearranging and changing the layout of your container garden display. If you prefer the larger containers, you may want to consider investing in iron or wooden rollers that you can place your container on and easily move.
If you live in an area with harsh winter conditions, the container you choose should be able to withstand the alternating conditions of icing and thawing. This could lead to pre-mature cracking of your container. You may want to consider using smaller containers in this climate. Always make sure your container is well drained in these situations.
Even excessive hot weather conditions can provide additional issues for you, whether it is dry heat or heat with a high humidity, containers can crack or your beautiful designs could also fade. You should keep all this under consideration when making that final choice of the type of container you want to use for your garden.
A container should also have a wide enough base that it will not easily topple over, especially if being exposed to the outdoor elements. If you live in areas with high winds or that experiences severe storms, you may also want to consider containers that are heavy. These containers should be braced to prevent it toppling over and becoming damaged or damaging other nearby items.
Choosing a container that is resistant to rot will give it a longer life. Containers made of wood, except those made of rot-resistant red wood, cedar, and cypress, will rot if not pre-treated with a preservative to prevent rotting.
No matter what your decide for your container garden, using plant containers and planters can add extra sparkle to inside your home or to the landscape of your garden yard. Whatever you plant and whatever type of container you use will only show your creativity and hopefully provide a peaceful lush environment to enjoy.